OP Money

I can’t remember exactly when or where I first hear it, but I learned the expression “OP money” decades ago. The “OP” stands for other people’s. Donald Trump has spent his life playing with other people’s money and today that includes the American taxpayers’ money. Let’s explore.

Donald Trump is rich because he was born rich, not through any prowess of his own. It is questionable if on net he ever even made any money. While he claims to be a billionaire the claim is dubious. Trump actually lost a lawsuit to journalist Tim O’Brien where all he had to do to win it was prove that he was in fact a billionaire. Trump inherited, was given and was lent about $420 million from his father. That is a lot of money and it is questionable if he is really worth any more than that.

In his 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, Trump talks of his business triumphs and genius. Back at that time I read seemingly ever business book that came out sadly including Trump’s. I left the book with regrets over the time and money I had wasted. Basically Trump bragged about deals he did largely via grants and tax exemptions – OP money. Perhaps I missed something, but where is the genius in that?

The Donald J. Trump Foundation is another case in point. Trump founded it in 1988 supposedly to do charitable deeds that benefited society. Largely through the reporting of the Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist David Farenthold, we learned that Trump not only stopped contributing to his charity years ago, he used it as a vehicle to pay off personal and business debts, self-deal and make political contributions; all of which are illegal. Earlier this year the courts ordered the Foundation closed and levied a $2 million fine in the process.  In recent years the income of the Foundation was all other people’s money.

Superstorm Sandy was a disaster for many in metro New York City but not for Trump. He applied for and received disaster relief dollars. In my mind, and the minds of most Americans, disaster relief in the aftermath of a natural disaster is to make individuals whole. That means regular people who lost their homes and belongings as well as mom and pop operators who needed to rebuild their businesses; in other words the regular or little guy. Big timers who claim to be billionaires should have had adequate insurance coverage on their investments. Again Trump used other people’s money. The reality is that disaster relief is not infinite and the dollars Trump received are dollars Joe Lunchbucket was denied. To top it off it was taxpayer money in the first place.

During the 2016 campaign Trump billed back a lot of campaign expenses for the use of his jet and facilities to the campaign itself. Many people thought he was self-funding; while in reality he was self-enriching. Then there is the case of about $50 million in “missing” inaugural fund money, none of which was his.

The latest installment in this continuing scam is Ukrainegate. Trump tried to bully Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 election for his personal benefit by withholding hundreds of billions in desperately needed and congressionally approved aid. These weren’t Trump’s personal funds or even campaign funds; they were taxpayer dollars.

Trump has a history of spending or pocketing OP money. What makes anyone think he is going to stop on his own?

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